Air Jamaica has unveiled its 2009 Business Plan, which is designed to respond to the current global economic downturn, quickly stem the substantial cash losses at the company, and position the airline on a path to financial stability going forward.
The goal of the 2009 Business Plan is to eliminate cash losses by:
- Exiting loss-making markets and revising schedules in others
- Improving aircraft utilization by more than 25%, and
- Executing an efficiency plan that will improve productivity and bring Air Jamaica’s unit costs in line with international norms.
“This is a pivotal year for Air Jamaica, as we must become a lean and efficient airline to survive these difficult times,” said Bruce R. Nobles, President and CEO. “This Business Plan requires a singular focus on rationalizing operational, infrastructure and overhead costs”.
The Board of Directors of Air Jamaica, the Minister of Finance, and the Cabinet have approved the Plan. Senator the Hon. Don Wehby, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance with responsibility for Air Jamaica, has reviewed the Plan in detail and fully supports the strategy.
Effective February 26, 2009, Air Jamaica will exit Atlanta, Los Angeles, Grand Cayman, and Miami, and will discontinue service between Jamaica and Barbados and Jamaica and Grenada. This will result in the closure of the affected stations and reductions in the work force, accordingly.
With these changes the airline’s fleet will be reduced to nine aircraft, the appropriate number required to efficiently operate the new schedule. The airline will restructure existing leases and negotiate aircraft returns to accomplish this result.
“These decisions were not arrived at easily, and reflect a commitment to the people of Jamaica that we will do everything to reduce the airline’s impact on the national budget – something that is certainly even more important now as the country navigates through the global financial crisis,” said Mr. Nobles.